“I thought I’d met someone too good to be true. She said her name was ‘Fiona’, and we chatted a few times before we had sex over the net. But she ended up being a male friend, winding me up!” – Sian, 32.
Gay men have taken to hooking up online in a big way. Lesbians have done likewise… but for them it’s a bumpier ride on the road to love.
Same Same chatted to women who’ve been caught on the net and discovered some essential do’s and don’ts.
Choosing your site
In the world of online hook-ups, the possibilities are endless. But don’t waste your time – choose your website carefully, say our panel of online daters.
Kristen, 36, says she’s used Pink Sofa, Gaydar Girls and recently Qrushr for Girls on her iPhone.
“Gaydar Girls is a bit sleazier and more sex-oriented then Pink Sofa,” she explains. “Personally I find Pink Sofa too much about finding a partner, its all very tame and people meet and have coffee. That’s fine if you want a relationship – but I have all the coffee I need, I’m online to hook up!”
“Unfortunately there is a fairly small pool of Melbourne women on Gaydar Girls, and if you go out in the scene you will know half of the people on there,” she laments.
“We all just give each other shit and so its cool, not too awkward. I do find that Australian lesbians are not as liberated about their sexuality as European or UK women, so they can be a little insecure or defensive at first.
“I also used Qrushr for Girls on my iPhone for a while and had some great chats, although no real-life hook ups. I was so relieved we had a ‘Grindr’-style app… but it soon crashed on me and wouldn’t allow me to log in again. Everytime I emailed support they suggested a process for password reset which didn’t work. The tech support stuff needs to be slick for any site to be successful.”
What makes a good profile?
“I think its best to be brief,” says Dash, 30. “I remember reading many really depressing and desperate profiles, and also seeing a little too much of some girls – eek! I was there to meet people, not to ‘çyber’ (sex). I think its best to include your real self, but too many just include what they think others are looking for.
“I have seen much more than boobs online in profiles,” she winces. “I personally didn’t really like seeing it all, I like a little mystery!”
Sian, 32, says she looks for realistic photos when searching for dates. “Some people actually put old magazine covers and things. That makes you think ‘no way, if you were that good looking, you wouldn’t be on a dating site – you’d have people queuing up outside your door to date you.’
“But some people without pictures will send a private message to a girl they like, with a private picture to say ‘this is what I look like’.”
“I always look for a photo – not because I’ll only return a message if you’re cute – I’m really not that shallow – but because I like to see who I’m talking to,” says Al, 38.
“A lot of girls include their interests which is good because I’ll know if I have something in common with them. Some reveal way too much, but others reveal far too little, and are very guarded. A few use their profile to bag their ex – not cool! No-one wants to read your baggage!”
Women talking about their pets is a, well, ‘pet hate’ for Kristen. “Those bloody pets! I avoid anyone that shows their pet in any of their profile pics. I once saw ‘my pet rats mean the world to me’ and it epitomised what I don’t want to find online. I like pets, don’t get me wrong – but I’m not there for that.
“I find that women often go to great lengths to write profile descriptions, likes – dislikes, etc. For me it’s a little off-putting because it takes away a lot of the fun you have discovering someone. A perfect profile for me has succinct, witty and to-the-point profile descriptions.
Be upfront and honest – but polite – about what you’re into. “People do specify either ‘femme’ or ‘butch’,” says Sian. “But I’ve never come across any profiles which specify ‘no’ particular ethnic groups.
“On my profile I used to put ‘no butch dykes’. There’s little tickboxes for ‘types I like’. They go ‘boyish’, ‘femme’, ‘military’, ‘muscle’… so you can tick those things. Then you can see on their profile what they like before you write to them.”
Sexy… or slutty?
“I’ve seen everything!” laughs Sian. “You can practically see up to the ovaries in some of the pictures I’ve seen. I’ve never met these women, but they’ve sent me pictures… there was one girl when I first went online who I used to send my pictures back to. I know my ones are real, but I can’t say her ones were.”
“Something I love about online is the access to younger woman that are into older women,” Kristen candidly reveals. “I’m 36 – a bit of a cougar – and don’t want to come across as a creep. It’s a relief that women under 25 approach me and know exactly what they want.
“I don’t see a lot of overt sexuality from lesbian/bi dating sites… you see it every now and again but not often,” she says. “I think that the perception is that women wouldn’t react well to that, but hell if they are hot then I’m not put off by it at all. Having said that, I’m very into clothes and what women wear so I appreciate a hot fashion snap more than anything, and find that this says so much about the girl.”
Scammers, time-wasters and men posing as women are a constant irritation, but can be easy to spot, say our wise women.
“If there’s barely any detail and they stuff like ‘I’m looking for a woman to love and be romantic with’ you know it’s a man posing as a woman straight away,” laughs Kristen. “Men always go for some trashy romantic angle which women aren’t actually in to, but they imagine we would be.
“There’s quite a few fakes and it’s always hard to tell who is and who isn’t. Some are obvious, others are not. So if I’m going to cyber I just accept that there’s a chance that it could be guy. I don’t do live cam and don’t share any pics that are too much – like if your going to show your tits, take your face out of the shot, and vice versa.”
“You can get what I call the ‘slutty’ ones, showing them in underwear or in the bath… but I think they’re fake,” wades in Sian. “They might be a bi girl trying to attract a gay girl or another bi girl for their husband to join in. And I always stay away from those ones, because there’s always a man behind it. I’ve got caught a few times with that.
“Sometimes you can see loads of information because they’ve done everything with their site. Others haven’t… most of the girls who don’t put much on their site are either fake, in a high-powered position or still closeted.”
Online scammers from Nigeria are a real problem in women’s net dating experiences, and our girls warn their mates not to send money to anyone online they haven’t met.
“I like to check profiles in other places, like America,” says Sian. “But you’ve got to be careful because I tried two Americans – and one was a fake profile from Nigeria, asking me for money. Another one asked me for money as well, she claimed that she was a model… and no offence, because everyone’s got beauty within them, but she was clearly not a model.”
Dash also has a worrying story. “Recently a friend of mine started putting her profile on Gaydar. Within weeks she had let us know she was in a relationship with a woman from the USA, who was in the army. It then started getting dodgy. They never spoke, the army girl didn’t have Facebook, MSN or anything, just a pic on her profile and they chatted through that and emails.
“My friend started becoming a little sussed after a week – the army chick told her she had found millions of dollars on tour in Iraq and needed her to hold on to it for her. After careful consideration my friend told her army gal she wouldn’t hide the money, and she was verbally abused for not doing it – thus leading to their ‘break-up’.
“In the meantime, another girl had also found my friend’s profile and started to message her sounding very keen. This woman was also from the USA but teaching at a church in… Nigeria, so of course had no Facebook, or any other ways to be contacted. However, she was falling in love with my friend – after two days… I know lesbians are fast… but really – so my friend should take out a loan and send it to Nigeria so she could come be with her in Australia.
“Somehow, my friend accidently Googled the teacher in Nigeria and found out it had been a scam that has tricked many, same with the army chick.
“This sort of thing happens a lot, and really sucks,” Dash concludes. “My mate is really hurt from the entire thing, rightfully so. I have suggested maybe looking closer to home for the time being and she’s agreed.
“She contacted the admin from the site and received an apology, I think they may have removed the profiles too.”
“Women are very complicated!”
Despite the occasional drama, online dating can be fun and rewarding if your expectations are realistic, our women agree.
“I’ve hooked up with a few girls from online. I’ve made some genuine friends and had one fiery fling that ended so horribly that I do regret it,” recalls Kristen. “Mostly though I seem to have met quite decent women in real life, my filter is pretty good so I’m getting better and better at eliminating trouble.
“I will definitely say that Gen Y’s are much more comfortable with wanting simple hookups without relationship dramas, and they are very comfortable in communicating online and being clear about their likes and dislikes,” she adds. “I find that generally women over 30 are a lot more guarded and want to talk and get to know you more than before making any sexual advances.
“The thing that would make dating sites better is for lesbians and bi women to be more confident about their sexuality – but it will take more than a website to create that.”
Sian says she’s taking a break from online dating for a while. “Women are very complicated creatures, whether you meet them in real life or online. So still get the mind games online before you even meet them. I’ve had some crazy-ass girls who I haven’t even met yet, texting and calling me constantly.
“I’m shy, but hiding behind a computer doesn’t help anything. You can pretend you’re anyone, and then it’s like a Hollywood version of yourself.”
You never know your luck though. Kristen signs off: “I gotta go, I just received a message from a smoking hot policewoman in London. This one is real, I promise you!”